Thank you for taking so much time to show me round on Tuesday. I hope it was obvious how impressed I was by the scale of the operation that you are running, quite beyond what I had imagined. It is sad that the demand for your services shows no sign of declining, but fantastic that you seem able to keep up with the demand and that there are so many generous people making donations of food and money. I realise that donations don’t just happen, and are the result of constant hard work on the part of the Trust’s staff – not to mention your impressively large team of volunteers. It was a delight to meet so many people enthusiastic about the work they were doing (I suppose Duncan stands out in that respect!). In particular the volunteers I spoke to at Maybury Open Door were an outstanding example of the positive effect that volunteering can have not just on the people they are helping but on the volunteers themselves. I also much enjoyed hearing about the other projects such as the Bounty Club, and collaboration with Stansted Airport and other organisations, all helping to put to good use what might otherwise be wasted.
When Gary Knott first contacted me back in April I asked for a briefing from Eessex Community Foundation, and one came back in glowing terms; I can now tell them that they were right.
Do let me know if you think there is anything particular I can do to help your work, beyond singing your praises whenever I get the opportunity.
Many thanks again for your time and trouble.
Dr James Bettley jp dl fsa · High Sheriff of Essex 2019–2020